About Marylee & Potted Desert

Marylee Pangman, Founder and Owner of the Potted DesertAfter working for 25 years in the nonprofit world, I knew I wanted to pursue a very different career. I had always dreamed of opening my own business and explored many options but could not find one that fit my goals and talents. Finally, my experience with my own potted gardens in our home inspired me to look at this as a possibility.

Founding The Contained Gardener in 1998 was the niche business that tapped my creative energies as well as my long desire to open a business. I envisioned one so successful that the name The Contained Gardener would become the standard of exceptional potted landscape design, unparalleled creativity, and quality in Tucson’s desert community. The success of The Contained Gardener led to its eventual sale in 2012 to Sonoran Gardens Landscape Design, a local Tucson company.

Since then, it is my desire to take what I learned from container gardening over 15 years of blistering summers and record-breaking winters and share it with you.

Therefore, the Potted Desert was born. The number of gardeners starting container gardens continues to soar as consumer impatience with labor-intensive projects rises.

Containers are easy to create and can require minimal care.  Gardeners, even retirees are busier, but they also prefer to see gardening as a relaxing pastime, not a chore. In our challenging desert climate, I see container gardening as a way to have our oasis gardens while conserving water as the demands on pots is far less than heavily planted beds.

Even the smallest place around your house can be improved. If you have a small house, you don't have to try to create things to enlarge the areas, you can take what you have and make the most of it.

Being of the generation of striving for immediate gratification, the success of our potted gardens relies greatly on our ability to create gardens with instant beauty. Even though container gardens are living art that takes time to grow and evolve, I for one do not want to wait for the final result.  With that in mind, I strive to help homeowners keep their money out of the compost heap and create the garden of their dreams from the very first planting.

But wait, there's more!

We've launched a new membership club! For the Seriously Potted!

If you want to overcome the constant loss of your beloved flowers, perennials, shrubs and trees in pots, become a member today!

If you are serious about your desert container garden, become Seriously Potted with Marylee!

Read on to see what some of our Founding Members are saying! Receive monthly recipes of floral combinations that will work in your desert home.

"I am so happy I subscribed to become a Premium Member. There is so much really good information. It comes in a private email weekly not like a FB page where everyone can see it. Marylee provides links to different articles she has written so there is a wealth of information in each issue." 🌹

Barbara W, A Southern Tucson Homeowner

Massive Array of flowers in a desert garden by Barbara W

Two pots against a wall in a desert back yard The Potted Desert

"As a brand new gardener I am learning so much already. I love the VIP posts." 🌵

Carolyn M. A Tucson Homeowner

And from Marylee's Raving Design Fans...



"This is the first time I have had flowers in my yard that have succeeded. My neighbor thanked me for having great potted plants!"

Late Summer Potted Garden with Crepe Myrtle



"This is absolutely fantastic. It feels like we have come home to a brand new house."

"I just love my entry. It’s absolutely beautiful!"

"Thank you again. Getting all the new flowers was like an early Christmas present!"

"The pots look beautiful and I feel extra excited to have family here when my home looks so warm and colorful."

"Thank you truly for arranging things so that we could enjoy the flowers. They all look really lovely, and I must say, your choices and design are really wonderful."

Container Gardening with the Desert In Mind